Virginia's Latino population is growing rapidly as it is in the rest of the nation. But some believe that while there’s a lot of talk of building a better future through education, there’s very little action that translates into real results-especially for the Latino community.
That’s why some of the most influential educators and business leaders have gathered in Richmond for a two-day “Hispanic Workforce through Higher Education” Conference. . .
VSU's Dean of the Reginald F. Lewis College of Business, Mirta Martin, is also President of the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network. Martin says many immigrant families come to this country barely speaking English, and the parents have little secondary education. Therefore, they often think their children are succeeding when they do complete high school. But she says every major publication indicates that by 2020, students need at LEAST an Associates degree to be successful. Meanwhile, some don’t finish high school, and another 50,000 Latinos who turn 18 each month don’t have the means or incentives to go to college.
"If we're not graduating the fastest growing minority in the United States from high school, then how are the employers of the 21st century going to be able to have qualified educated employees?"
Martin says the purpose of the conference is to learn how to motivate students, improve their preparation in English, writing, and communication skills, and build a partnership between secondary schools, higher education, and industry.